Namibian boxers Jeremiah ‘Lowkey’ Nakathila and Nathanael ‘Natty’ Kakololo might have lost out on golden opportunities to win international titles over the weekend but the individual performances of the two young pugilists surely left thousands of boxing enthusiasts globally in awe.
Both Nakathila and Kakololo were on separate international missions over the weekend, with Nakathila going toe-to-toe with America’s Shakur Stevenson for the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title at the Virgins Hotel Theatre in Las Vegas in the wee hours of yesterday morning.
A highly-determined Nakathila, facing a raucous crowd and the blinding lights of the Virgins Hotel Theatre, did everything he could to contain a fast and furious Stevenson but struggled as the American’s unpredictable left hand kept pushing him back.
Although the 31-year-old Namibian landed some solid jabs and showed great movement throughout, the undefeated 23-year-old American’s class was clearly a cut above Nakathila, as he incessantly controlled the fight with his razor-sharp left hand and remarkable footwork.
Despite Stevenson’s dominant speed and painful accuracy throughout the fight, Nakathila showed grit and heart as he continued to strongly swing back at the offensive American, but as the rounds wore on, it was clear that Stevenson had done enough to claim the coveted WBO interim junior lightweight title, as he outpointed Nakathila 120-107 on all three judge’s scorecards.
The loss marked Nakathila’s second career defeat from 23 fights, while the undefeated newly crowned WBO interim junior lightweight champion Stevenson improved his record to 16 straight wins.
Also over the weekend, Namibia’s featherweight boxer Kakololo was on international duty in Kiev, Ukraine, where he faced Ukraine’s Oleg Malinovskyi for the WBO inter-continental featherweight title at the AKKO International Arena in that country.
Just like his compatriot Nakathila, Kakololo put up a great performance throughout the fight and at times even had home-favourite Malinovskyi back paddling into safety as the Namibian closed in with some decent jabs and body shots.
But despite the rock-solid overall performance by Kakololo, it was still not enough to earn him the WBO inter-continental featherweight title, as Malinovskyi cruised to victory after the judges scored a majority decision (97-93; 97-93; 95-95).